Tags: bug repellent, camping, camping food, clothes, compass, hiking gear, nuts, period of time, size backpack, snacks, spf, sun block, sweat band, tent, weather
The day hiking gear list is much lighter than the overnight gear list, but should still have many survival essentials, in case you end up needing to spend extra time in the woods. Getting lost, getting injured, or simply having your hike take longer than expected could have you needing gear that you did not expect to need.
Water: Assuming you are hiking in an area with plenty of natural water supplies, pack about a liter of water, and bring along a purification system. Iodine tabs are great because they come in a tiny bottle that weighs only about one ounce. Another option is a small filter. This is heavier, but leaves the water tasting better.
Food: Bring enough food for at least a day longer than you expect to be on the trail. This does not need to be complicated, just throw a few extra candy bars in your day pack, for example. It’s just about survival. You don’t want to get weak because you are suffering from hunger after you have gone 12 or 18 hours without food.
Clothing: Pack a change of clothing, in case the set you are wearing gets wet. Also, pack something warm enough to get you through the night if something happens requiring you to stay out there. An example would be, in the summer, pack a sweater, fleece pants and a hat. Keep your spare clothes in a plastic bag. Pack rain gear, even if rain is not predicted.
Navigation: Always carry a compass and a detailed map of the area you are hiking in. It is very easy to find yourself off of your intended trail, and once this happens it is even easier to get disoriented. A compass and a map can tell you which direction to go to get back to the trail, or to a road, etc. If you have a GPS, bring it, but also pack that compass, because a GPS could fail for a number of reasons.
First Aid: Pack a small first aid kit. There are some very good, lightweight options available at outdoor supply stores.
Before you leave, let someone know your intended route, so if something happens, they can effectively initiate a search for you. By all means, be prepared. You can start by checking out a guide that shows you how to pack emergency gear, that will keep you alive.